Bibliography Reading List: Yunnan Han Dynasty History

Francis Allard:

China's Early Impact on Eastern Yunnan: Incorporation, Acculturation, and the Convergence of Evidence

Incorporation, Acculturation, and the Convergence of Evidence


In 109 BC, armies dispatched by the Han dynasty ruler Wudi reached present-day eastern Yunnan, defeating the kingdom of Dian and establishing the prefecture of Yizhou. Historical sources and archaeological data –mainly objects recovered from Dian burials– highlight China’s impact on the region both before and after the conquest. This paper reviews the evidence for such impact through a consideration of the relevant texts and a further analysis of available information on Chinese style artifacts (CSA’s) in pre- and post-conquest Dian graves. For the first century of Han occupation, the texts and grave assemblages –whose elaborate CSA’s make up only a small percentage of elite burial goods– point to the native inhabitants’ limited acculturation and incorporation into the Han administration. In contrast, textual entries and the widespread appearance of Han style tombs and burial assemblages during the first century AD provide clearer evidence of acculturation and incorporation. However, divergent interpretations emerge in light of additional information, which includes textual evidence for continuing local uprisings against the Han presence, as well as evidence from later historical periods of China’s uneven and incomplete control of eastern Yunnan.

Hans Bielenstein:

The Bureaucracy of Han Times

This is a comprehensive and fully documented study of Chinese bureaucracy during the Han period, when many of the basic lines of Chinese government practice were laid down. It is also more detailed and wider in scope than similar works on other periods of Chinese history. The book covers the time from 202 BC to AD 9 and from AD 25 to 189, analysing and describing the central and local administrations, the army, official salaries, civil service recruitment and power in government. Professor Bielenstein translates all Chinese official titles and includes alphabetical lists of these titles with their English and Chinese equivalents. Thus his book will serve both as a description for the names of offices at every level of government. The book will be of interest to all scholars of Chinese history, as well as to experts in other fields of institutional history, government and political science.                 

Rafe de Crespigny:

Generals of the South: The Foundation and Early History of the Three Kingdoms and the State of Wu

The Foundation and Early History of the Three Kingdoms and the State of Wu

Rafe de Crespigny:

A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD)

方国瑜 (Fang Guoyu):


Place names in Yunnan before the Tang.

方国瑜 (Fang Guoyu):

两汉经略西南: 郡县设置与行政同志


汪宁生 (Wang Ningsheng):

远古时期云南的稻谷栽培: 云南少数民族科学史学习札记


Early rice cultivation in Yunnan

杨伟林 (Yang Weilin):


Housing styles in the Erhai region during the Eastern Han period based on three house models found as funerary gifts.

方国瑜 (Fang Guoyu):


Volume 1: early works up to Tang